Census forms concepts in preparation for 2001

Finlayson Design in London has created two new concepts for the UK’s national census form. The forms will now be tested in the run-up to the nation’s next full census in 2001.

The resulting form will be distributed to 23 million households by the Office for National Statistics. The ONS approached Finlayson Design and an unknown number of other consultancies for a paid creative pitch in January.

Finlayson Design won the project and has designed two versions of the form – one in a similar vein to the 1991 census form, a so-called “matrix” design. The other is a new departure based around a “page per person”.

Consultancy partner Carolyn Finlayson says the brief, which restricted Finlayson Design to a two-colour design, stressed the importance of the forms being accessible, easy to complete and easily scanned by computer.

“The census form is a good opportunity to apply our information design skills to one of the UK’s most important forms. It involves a fair amount of routing, so creating a clear, logical structure with clear signposting was absolutely critical.”

Finlayson adopted a sans serif face, Frutiger, with a range of weights to aid the form’s structure, and enlarged the tick boxes and space available for the public to enter written details.

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